Plea to shelve Burgess Hill development sites rejected

Lib Dems Robert Eggleston and Roger Cartwright pictured at the junction of Folders Lane and Keymer Road last yearLib Dems Robert Eggleston and Roger Cartwright pictured at the junction of Folders Lane and Keymer Road last year
Lib Dems Robert Eggleston and Roger Cartwright pictured at the junction of Folders Lane and Keymer Road last year
Calls for Mid Sussex District Council to drop plans for 340 homes on two sites in Burgess Hill have been rejected.

During a meeting on Wednesday (July 22), members agreed to put the council’s draft Site Allocations Development Plan out for an eight-week public consultation before it is submitted to the government for examination.

The document lays out how the district will meet its housing and employment needs up to 2031, including 22 possible sites for development – 1,764 homes – and seven employment sites.

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The plan is one of the final steps towards finishing work on the 2014-2031 District Plan and is essential to ensure the council has the required five-year supply of housing land. 

The 22 sites include two south of Folders Lane, Burgess Hill, which Robert Eggleston (Lib Dem, Burgess Hill – Meeds) asked to be removed.

Mr Eggleston raised concerns that the gap between Burgess Hill and Hassocks and Keymer would be eroded if the land was developed, and that the roads in the area would not be able to cope.

Calling for the sites to be dropped from the list, Mr Eggleston said: “The council risks nothing by doing this but Burgess Hill and Keymer may risk much if we don’t.”

Leader Jonathan Ash-Edwards disagreed.

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He explained that dropping those 340 homes would leave the council with a buffer of only 144 homes above the required housing numbers – not enough to keep developers at bay should any of the other sites fall through.

Following the meeting, Benedict Dempsey (Lib Dem, Hassocks), who seconded the amendment, said: “We understand that the council needs to meet the demand for housing – but that must be set against the permanent and irreversible effect that these sites would have on Hassocks and Burgess Hill.

“With 500 houses north of Hassocks already approved, these developments would further erode the gap between the two settlements and bring us closer to the coalescence of Hassocks and Burgess Hill.

“They would also place an intolerable pressure on local roads.”

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Andrew MacNaughton, cabinet member for housing and planning, encouraged residents to take part in the consultation.

He said: “Strategic plans like this are really important because they show that Mid Sussex can meet the future housing needs of our district.

“Once agreed, this protects our district from speculative unplanned developments put forward by developers.

“The consultation starts on August 3 and I encourage as many people as possible to read the proposals set out in the Site Allocations Development Plan Document.

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“If you have any comments to make about the plan, please submit them to us and we will send them to the independent planning inspector for consideration as part of the public examination.”

Details about the document can be found at

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